Friday, July 20, 2018

Fear the Walking Troops

America has traditionally neglected infantry in favor of bigger ticket forces.

A decade of counter-insurgency reversed that for the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The possibility of going back to business as usual has always been present. That is changing under Secretary of Defense Mattis. And a Marine program begun in the Obama administration is still not achieving its aims to have better trained infantry forces.

This effort needs to work:

It’s been about three years since the [Marine] Corps established a new job field for squad leaders — the 0365 military occupational specialty — which only 359 Marines have obtained, according to data provided by Marine Corps Training and Education Command. The figure is barely half the number needed to fill out the 648 active-duty rifle squads across the Corps.

Training is our biggest edge over enemies. Technology is a force multiplier for good troops and no replacement for insufficiently trained troops.